Velvet is heading off to work in a little while. He admits that although he is a young man yearning to be out on his own, he likes it when his mother makes him a very berry smoothie and toast with a schmear of salmon cream cheese for breakfast. He likes asking me to make his lunch for him as he walks off down the hall to the den to watch the new TV. He didn't mention the yearning to be on his own part all by himself. I brought it up as he was leaving the kitchen and said, "Thanks, Mommy. I love you."
He's been eating his breakfast in front of the TV ever since he was a little kid. He may be watching the cartoons now, for all I know. The den is so far from the main room where I've stationed my computer that I can't tell what's on the TV. In the old place, the living room, dining area, kitchen and office/entry space was all in the same 500 foot square. Or at least I think it was five or six hundred square feet. Now that we've been here over a week, I don't miss the old place one single bit with the exception of a few conveniences. I love the view from my bedroom window so much that I may never hang curtains. Since I'm looking out over the roof of a small college over to the tree tops in a grave yard that slopes uphill, I reckon that nobody can see in my room anyway - even when the light is on in the night. The headstones peek out from between the trees which, naturally, reminds me of a song:
The only trouble was waiting and waiting for the company who had provided my land line, internet and cable TV to transfer my phone number to the new company since the original company doesn't provide services in my new neighborhood. I've had this phone number for nearly twenty years, and I wasn't giving it up now just for a few days of internet and cable TV. You can't get decent produce in this neighborhood either, but the big Fairway is a short bus ride away, and they have everything in the world you could possibly want. Plus, Fresh Direct will deliver straight to my kitchen which is one of the bonuses of urban living. I haven't noticed Fresh Direct coming to my new building, but I'm pretty sure that folks in my demographic who live in this building settled in long before Fresh Direct was invented and have developed their own solutions. It appears as if I'm the only white woman in my demographic in the building.
There are plenty of brown women in my demographic who have lived here for years. The white people I have seen all seem to be under 35 and fairly beautiful. There are so many different kinds of people in this neighborhood that I feel like I'm back in New York City again after having been trapped in a strip mall with Whole Foods at one end, Home Goods at the other and Sephora in between. I've even seen cute little Latina lesbian couples, one all frilly and the other wearing a hipster butch uniform of tight jeans and dress shirt, neck tie and canvas sneakers walking past an old rasta with his dreads tucked up into a huge black, red and green crocheted hat. It's summer, and everybody is out in every way on the clean, wide sidewalks of Washington Heights. It's energizing, inspiring and liberating - like New York City was meant to be.
One thing is certain: The kids up here are much better behaved than those whiny, noisy, unruly entitled brats whose parents have taken over my old neighborhood. As unpleasant as the people who took over my neighborhood are, however, I can only be grateful for their money - which has facilitated my current life style and, if all goes according to plan, will continue to facilitate it after I buy a new place and sell it to one of them in ten years for a bundle of fucking cash. God bless them.
I'm happy to say that I've created an environment here that is balanced combination of Brand New and Comfortably Familiar. Even though the apartment itself is dramatically different, the allergy medicine and melatonin are in the same basket in the kitchen. The umbrellas are in the same basket on the hall tree bench, and when you lift the lid on the bench, the same winter hats and scarves are still stuffed inside. When I wake up in the night, the same moon shines through the window onto my brand new bed with brand new sheets.
There is a brand new man who is also a combination of exciting novelty and safe familiarity. He found me on Match dot com and took me out to dinner last Friday night, which was perfect timing for a date since Velvet was on a road trip with my dad, driving the Subaru back to Texas. As it happens, this man is also originally from Texas. He's lived up here forever and easily navigates among the Type A characters who populate the business of corporate media - although he's retired now from MSNBC - but a few generations ago, his family settled in the same area of No Fucking Where, East Texas as my family on my dad's side.
We met at a dark, exotic bar in the East Village, then walked to a restaurant a few blocks away. When I stepped from the curb to cross the street, he gently touched my lower back. He had driven into the city, and I had been wondering all day whether or not I'd let him drive me home. That protective, masculine and very gentlemanly gesture convinced me in an instant, and any lingering hesitation disappeared over dinner. His conversation is a mixture of thoughtful social and political analysis, with counter cultural perspective and Bohemian insight. It was a lovely night.
He's been busy ever since, working on this documentary about the application of psychedelics in psychiatry. It's only been a week, of course, and he's called in the meantime. The other night we wound up talking nearly two hours. I'm thinking that gender must influence the Space-Time continuum. Something like Dog Years seems to come into play so that to a man, a week seems like the blink of an eye especially when he's focused on a project. To a woman, it seems like forever. At least it seems like Forever to me, but then I've always been impatient. I'm sure Whoopi Goldberg, as Guinan the Space Mammy, would have something very wise to say about that.
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